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article imageThai PM to dissolve Parliament amid heightened political unrest

By Leo Reyes     Dec 9, 2013 in Politics
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has announced she will ask for the dissolution of the Thai Parliament amid a widespread anti-government protests that could turn violent as thousand of protesters threaten to take over vital government facilities.
In a televised announcement, Shinawatra said her government does not want violence that could lead to loss of more lives. At least five people have reportedly been killed and 289 injured since the latest protests started last month.
"At this stage, when there are many people opposed to the government from many groups, the best way is to give back the power to the Thai people and hold an election," she said. "So the Thai people will decide."
The lady prime minister did not say when exactly the next election will be held but hinted it will be "as soon as possible."
But under Thailand's election rules, reports said it must be held within two months following the dissolution of the parliament.
Shinawatra was elected in 201, the first woman to be elected prime minister in Thailand's history
The 45-year-old Shinawatra is the sister of Thaksin Shinawatra who was prime minister of Thailand from 2001 to 2006.
The elder Shinawatra was overthrown in a military coup and went into self-imposed exile after being convicted of abuse of power. The former Prime minister maintains his conviction was politically-motivated. Read more.
Shinawatra's announcement may not be enough calm down the highly charged protesters who want a radical change in the system.
Suthep Thaugsuban, one of the leaders in the ongoing street protest said, "The movement will keep on fighting. Our goal is to uproot the Thaksin regime."
"Although the House is dissolved and there will be new elections, the Thaksin regime is still in place," he added.
Anti-government protesters cheer after they tear down barricades during a demonstration outside Gove...
Anti-government protesters cheer after they tear down barricades during a demonstration outside Government House in Bangkok November 30, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Dylan Martinez
The US has expressed concern on the ongoing protests, prompting US Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney and US Pacific Commander Admiral Samuel J. Locklear to pay the Prime Minister a courtesy visit.
The Thai Premier "assured the US of the government’s peaceful approaches and willingness to resolve the situation through talks with all parties involved, while brushing aside that the government would impose the Emergency Decree on the rally goers," pattayamail.com reports.
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